Haiti: Canada pleased with political parties' signing of an electoral code of conduct

No. 109

Foreign Affairs Minister Pierre Pettigrew and International Cooperation Minister Aileen Carroll today congratulated Haiti's political parties on the signing of an electoral code of conduct that will enable the elections scheduled for the fall to be conducted within a political framework.

Seventeen parties, including the Fanmi Lavalas, signed the document on Tuesday during a ceremony organized by the Institut supérieur de formation politique et sociale and attended by Haiti's Interim Prime Minister, Gérard Latortue.

"Canada is pleased with this development, which offers some hope for the establishment of democratic order in Haiti," said Minister Pettigrew. "This kind of dialogue is vital to national reconciliation in Haiti."

"Here is another step forward on the road toward democracy in Haiti," said Minister Carroll. "Canada hails such a political gesture, which demonstrates the good will of all parties to work for the greater good of the Haitian people."

During his trip to Haiti in November 2004, Prime Minister Paul Martin gathered members of Haiti's government and political parties around the same table for the first time, thereby helping to relaunch dialogue and spark the resumption of national reconciliation. Minister Pettigrew also brought the political parties together on two occasions during the past year.

Municipal elections in Haiti are scheduled for October 9, 2005, while legislative and presidential elections are scheduled for November 13 and December 18, 2005 (first and second rounds). Canada is contributing $17 million to the electoral process. Security surrounding the elections and a proposed international elections assessment mission for the elections in Haiti will be discussed at the Montreal International Conference on Haiti, which will take place on June 16 and 17, 2005.

For further information, media representatives may contact:

Sébastien Théberge, Director of Communications, Office of the Minister of Foreign Affairs, (613) 995-1851

Media Relations Office, Foreign Affairs Canada, (613) 995-1874, www.international.gc.ca

Andrew Graham, Director of Communications, Office of the Minister for International Cooperation, (819) 953-6238

Media Relations Office, Canadian International Development Agency, (819) 953-6534, info@acdi-cida.gc.ca